How Much Do Job Titles Really Matter?

“You can call me anything, just don’t call me late for dinner.”

This old dad joke demonstrates a laid-back attitude towards life, one which I applaud. After all, very few people say my name correctly. (It’s Suzanne, not Susan, thank you!)

But, what about job titles? Can we call service employees anything? Does it matter whether someone is a “temperature control expert” or a “HVAC technician” as long as the pay and job duties are the same?

The answer: Yes, it does matter what you call people. Here’s why:

To keep reading, click here: How Much Do Job Titles Really Matter?

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6 thoughts on “How Much Do Job Titles Really Matter?

  1. I understand the article, the comparison though makes me giggle at this hour (thank you, yesterday was a VERY long day and I did need a smile this morning).

    Interestingly enough, a Temperature Controls Specialist is an actual job title in my world, and as you said, its very different from an HVAC technician. One handles the programming and such for direct digital temperature controls and is highly specialized. One does something in HVAC, although without further information than “technician”, I can’t tell you whether they do specialized work or not. Generally when I hear “HVAC technician”, I hear “I do residential service work” not “I’m a sheetmetal worker who handles multi-million dollar industrial projects” or “I’m a pipefitter or plumber who handles hospital installations”.

    I’d argue that job titles are important indeed, both within the specific industry, and outside it. Vague titles do NOBODY any good.

  2. This past February my organization went to generic titles with a “family class” structure to “help” employees develop a path to promotion. Because the project spent years in development, the roll-out of “classifications” (not titles) no longer matched up with the job functions. We’re going to get “working” titles but they have yet to be approved. Because grade levels (and pay rates) also changed, some jobs are no longer as desirable as they once had been which makes filling vacancies more challenging than necessary.

  3. About your name, is it:
    Sue-zanne (English pronunciation)
    Sue-Zonne (French pronunciation)

    It is my mother’s name and she uses the French pronunciation and yes, she does get Susan from time-to-time also.

    One would think with actresses such as Suzanne Sommers people would know the name.

  4. My resume has ‘functional’ titles that rarely correspond with whatever the company calls me. One company called me a “Sr Member of the Technical Staff”, which was really vague… Almost dysfunctional… 😉

  5. At the last job I had ( I was laid off ) I was called a Sales Clerk. What I actually did was assist in the Sales and Marketing dept.

    Prepare marketing packets, went through all the client data for accuracy, ordered supplies, organized new client parties and tons of other stuff.

    So when I got laid off I knew that the title ” Sales Clerk ” would sound like I was selling parakeets and fish in the Five and Dime store. So I kept my official title and put right next to it ( ” Sales and Marketing Assistant “. )

    My title was there with a little clarification. I actually got a lot of calls for interviews. My resume and cover were strong actually getting compliments from several employers.

    How an this be done in other cases? Project Management I imagine could have lots of different titles and job duties.
    Same with Business Analyst ? Not sure.

    I have a friend that says her title as a Project Coordinator does not reflect what she does. So how, when she is writing her resume put a title that reflects what she does without lying, in order for someone to read her resume and see what she actually does?

    Project Coordination in her company might be a Project Manager or even maybe a Project Assistant somewhere else.

    So what does she do regarding her title? I am thinking her cover letter ? Making it strong enough they will see her skills?
    Thoughts from others?

  6. I worked at a Christian non-profit in the accounting department. Functionally, I should have been the Finance Director. However, this organization had never had a female director! They called me “Senior Accountant” which was completely wrong. After much time and effort, I got it switched to Controller. Just note that the other “Controller” was a man they hired to come in part time to print checks. So, a man who by all rights was a clerk also got a controller title.

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